Creative and encouraging reflection and conversation about life, family, faith and laughter.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
To One of the Least of These
Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46
We live in a time when some leaders consider it okay to use the most vulnerable as pawns, to get their way and to make a point. This has always been the case throughout history. It is no more right than it was in the past and folks will look back and wonder how this could be allowed. It is not a crime to seek sanctuary or to flee violence to save one's children. Yet, in the US, some leaders call themselves Christian while ordering imprisonment for children.
Jesus continues what can seem like very stern teaching. It was delivered to his followers and was about their lives after he was gone. Jesus was very clear about our lives today. We need to be about caring for the hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison. Christ is alive in the least, and we who ache to find our spiritual grounding are called to seek out and serve the least, who will look, sound and pray in a different way than we do. We are invited to stop worrying about the right words for liturgy and move towards the least outside our elaborate doors.
Today, I ask God to help me be a servant, even during this long time of recuperation. As followers of the Incarnate One, may we have the courage to see him in those least, the most vulnerable and the abused and rejected political pawns of our day.